Now that the fourth quarter of 2018 is in full swing it may seem the time where businesses slow down as we get ready for the beginning of 2019. However, for me, the fourth quarter is a time for reflection of what I did during the year and how MindSpring thrived during 2018, as well as for 2019 business planning.
Doing my reflections this quarter, one of the biggest lessons learned is the value of setting specific personal and professional goals. Setting and achieving goals this year worked better for me than ever before. I knew what I wanted, and when my desired opportunities were presented to me I could recognize them very clearly.
One of the goals I set for myself this year was to become the sole leadership development trainer for an organization that invested in three to five-week leadership training sessions a year for their employees. When I set this specific goal, I considered the many interesting neuroscience studies about the power of goal setting and used the techniques I learned.
Approximately five months ago, a company from the Middle East approached me to be the leadership promotion course trainer for their law enforcement academy client. I am now the Program Coordinator for their leadership promotion courses for their junior, intermediate, and senior leaders. I have been living and working in Abu Dhabi since August and it has been a wonderful and enriching experience. According to the client, my experiential training style based on adult learning principles is something new to the organization and they plan to incorporate this style into all of their future trainings.
Here’s are some things to consider when setting goals:
- It is important that our goals focus our minds on specific tasks
- We must maintain the mental strength and perseverance to keep at it when we start doubting
- Understand that doubt is normal and that it creates an internal conflict about whether to give up or continue working toward our goal.
- Be daring and maintain confidence that you can achieve anything you put your mind to
Studies have shown that our doubts can lead to the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which is our brain responding to a perceived threat that may cause us to abandon our goals. This is a time when we need to focus on being positive and continue focusing our energies on our goal.
After we set our goals and have a positive attitude about achieving them, our brains will direct us towards our goals because our brains will produce dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter. Neuroscientists have seen that as we get closer to achieving our goal, the signal from the dopamine gets stronger. This suggests that dopamine from the brain acts as an internal guiding mechanism to reaching our goals.
Research shows that, when you internalize your goals and convince yourself they are attainable, the more you externalize them, the more likely you will be able to achieve them. I clearly remember writing my goal down and sharing it with my business colleagues.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
To achieve our goals, action steps are needed; understanding some of the obstacles that the mind will place in our way, and the best ways to navigate around them, can help us improve our success rate and recognize when we have achieved our goal.
What specific goal would you like to accomplish by December 31st, 2018?
As a way of externalizing the goal, I welcome you to write it down and place it somewhere that you will be regularly reminded of it. Once you’ve done that, take a photo and post it up on MindSpring’s Facebook page. I’m happy to be your accountability partner in supporting you in achieving your goal.